The Missionary Newsletter - Oct/Nov 2011

The Mission with a Heart
in the Heart of the City
How the Mission Can
Save Your Life

Forgotten Gales SchoolIn 2006, DC government determined that a shelter for the homeless was the best use for the historic Gales School at 65 Massachusetts Ave., NW. The city was concerned about not only renovating the decrepit structure but also providing services for the community.

Out of three applicants, Central Union Mission's proposal was selected. Following a lengthy lease negotiation, this July the District Council agreed to release the property from government use and to allow the Mission to lease it for 40 years with a subsequent 25-year extension available.

Our neighborhood on R Street has been revitalized, which forces our potential clients into far-off communities without easy transportation. The Mission has been praying for many years to return to the very heart of the city, and this is God's answer.

A huge task lies ahead: we must restore the historic structure and convert modest classrooms into a large dining/meeting room, remodel an attic and basement into useful space and add 5,000 square feet for a kitchen and pantry. We will provide sleeping and bathroom areas for over 150 men per night and house our offices, classrooms and counseling areas for all our
men's ministry activities. Our service plans include:

  • Spiritual Transformation and other long-term men's programs
  • Temporary and transitional housing
  • Medical, dental and legal services
  • Drug counseling and treatment
  • Job, life skills and computer training
  • Educational, literacy and GED training
  • Dining and meeting facilities
  • Daytime activities to draw men to the facility

This God-given opportunity seems overwhelming in scope, but we know that He will guide us to make the best possible place to help His needy people. Please pray for wisdom for our architects and planners, and pray that God will provide the contractors we need for the construction phase. Pray also that the Mission would bless our new community, making friends with our new neighbors.

If you have expertise to offer, we would appreciate your time. As well, we will need more financial contributions to get the job done. Thanks so much for your faithfulness; we look forward to working with you in this new adventure.

(Photo by

Vernon Lancaster

Vernon Lancaster came to the Mission looking for a new home and ended up saving his life, too. Vernon's rooming situation wasn't working out; his previously friendly landlord became angry and volatile. Friends encouraged him to leave, but he had no place to go.

Finding his belongings out on the sidewalk again, Vernon followed his neighbor Minister Paul Smith's suggestion to contact Chaplain Ted Ross at Central Union Mission. After his first church service that Sunday, Vernon felt truly at home at the Mission.

At the Mission's free Health Fair, Vernon revealed that he'd had a physical several years ago and was on the list for a colon screening. The Mission was able to quickly get him a screening through Howard University Hospital, during which the doctors found cancer. After the surgery the Mission arranged, Vernon is cancer-free. By the way, his name has still not come up on the original colon screening list. This year's Health Fair with the Colon Cancer Alliance is on Friday, October 28, 2011 at 9:00 am.

As for finding a new home, Pastor David Howard helped Vernon fill out the paperwork to apply for housing as well as for Social Security. With patience, prayer and encouragement from his Mission friends, Vernon finally began receiving his Social Security check, and in July, he moved into his new home at Harvard Towers. With the help of Central Union Mission and our supporters, Vernon has a new lease: on a new apartment and on life!

From the Executive Director
Grateful and Faithful

This year we've got even more to be grateful for. With the Gales School opportunity before us, we have the chance to minister to even more needy people. We have a lot of planning and construction to do to make this a reality, but with God's provision and guidance, it will happen. We ask you to pray diligently for wisdom for our architects, contractors and everyone involved in the project. If you have a heart for ministry in the very heart of the city and want to help, please contact me at 202-MISSION or

A new event this year has us making Thanksgiving last a little longer. We're asking our friends to coordinate non-perishable food drives at their churches and offices. You can deliver the food and join us at a thank-you reception on November 23 at 5:00 pm. Would you like to help? Please call Seamus Merrigan at 202-MISSION ext. 249.

When I think back over this busy year, I realize that all God has accomplished by His grace in restoring lives, relationships and livelihoods at the Mission starts with your generous gifts.

Thank you so much for your commitment to Central Union Mission and your faithfulness to our Lord's commands.


Upcoming Events

Executive Dinner
Wednesday, October 26, 6:30 - 8:30 pm
You're invited to share a delicious meal with us, hear the Mission Men's Choir, tour the building and learn about our future plans. Please rsvp to Rosetta Walker at 202-MISSION ext. 221.

Health Fair and Colon Cancer Expo
Friday, October 28, 9:00 am
Central Union Mission promotes healthy living in conjunction with the Colon Cancer Alliance.

"Give to the Max" Day
November 9
Here's a little friendly competition to show your city and United Way how much you support your Mission. Make an online donation to "Give to the Max" at www.missiondc on this day.

Veteran's Day Luncheon
Friday, November 11, 11:00 am-1:30 pm
Veteran's Day luncheon welcomes volunteers to assist with serving and other tasks.

"Help the Homeless" Walk-a-thon
Saturday, November 19, 8:00 am-12:00 pm
Join Central Union Mission in bringing attention to the issue of homelessness in Washington, DC.

Thanksgiving Turkey Distribution
Saturday, November 19, 3:00 pm
Assist Central Union Mission in providing turkeys for families in need in preparation for Thanksgiving.

Food Drive Drop-Off and Reception
Wednesday, November 23, 5:00 pm
Volunteer to run a non-perishable goods drive for your family, church or office group to help expand our feeding capacity this Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Day Banquet
Thursday, November 24, 1:00 pm & 5:00 pm
Help the Mission care for the poor. Donate food, financial resources or time to support our Thanksgiving banquet.

Operation Christmas Miracle Toy Distribution
Saturday, December 10, 10:00 am- 2:00 pm
Central Union Mission will distribute more than nearly 3000 bags of toys to metropolitan-area kids in need.

Christmas Day Banquet
Sunday, December 25, 1:00 pm & 5:00 pm
Help the Mission care for the poor. Donate food, financial resources or time to support our Christmas banquet.

Catch Up Today!

To save money and paper, we have published our 2010-2011 Annual Report online at Please enjoy this update on how your contributions are helping our community, and forward the link to your friends.

email iconFrom the Mission Inbox

"I just wanted to say thank you so much…. This was my third time coming to receive assistance, and I needed to hear those encouraging words to stay strong in my faith. I know that God is already working everything out-not just for me, but for everybody. Kudos to the staff for all the hard work that you do; please know that it is greatly appreciated by me….
I look forward to getting back to work so I can come and volunteer.

Best Regards,

P.S. One of my favorite Scriptures is Proverbs 3:5-6: 'Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto thy own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy path.'"

Easy Ways to Give

Combined Federal Campain'Tis the season for the Combined Federal Campaign. If you are a federal civilian, postal or military employee, you can select a favorite charity to support through the Combined Federal Campaign until December 15. Please consider designating Central Union Mission CFC #85786 as your beneficiary. A major CFC sponsorship benefit for Central Union Mission is that we receive a regular monthly check, which helps even out the often lean summer months.

As well, if you are responsible for your workplace charity fairs, you can share the Mission's efforts with your coworkers. For ideas and materials, please contact Deborah Chambers at 202-MISSION ext. 227.

Proud Member of United WayDoes your workplace sponsor a United Way campaign? The Mission is also supported by United Way of the National Capital Area. You can designate #9617 when you donate online to specific non-profits at

Here's a painless way to give to Central Union Mission: Do your online Christmas shopping through Give Back Here's how you do it: visit and in "Search for a Charity by Name," type in "Central Union Mission." You'll be directed to the Mission's page, which leads you to your shopping options.

This site features a wide range of popular online vendors including Amazon, Best Buy, Target, specialty shops and just about any store you can imagine. Christmas shopping time is coming, so please remember Central Union Mission and, and tell your friends!

24 Hours of Compassion

Can Washington, DC, friends together raise $3 million for area nonprofits in one single day? That's the purpose of "Give to the Give to the Max DayMax" Day, November 9, 2011. Starting at 12 am on that Wednesday, you can go online and donate to the charity you select. Central Union Mission is joining with other nonprofits in a competition to raise as much money and as many supporters as possible to win more than $100,000 in awards. Mark your calendars and set your alarms; this is a time to show DC how much we support the Mission. See for more details.

Give ThanksWe hope you enjoy our new Thanksgiving devotional available on November 1 at,
or you can sign-up online for a daily devotional email at

Take a Walk to End Homelessness

This year Central Union Mission is again one of the beneficiaries of Fannie Mae's Help the Homeless Walkathon in downtown DC. On Saturday, November 19, thousands of supporters will be walking to show the city that we care about homeless people and want to help them. We'd love for you to join us.

The Walkathon is transitioning to a smaller community model next year; this 24th year is the Walkathon's final year as a National Mall event. We plan to celebrate this year with our largest group of walkers ever.

Please register in advance. You can visit and select "Central Union Mission - DC015" as your team. Then on the big morning, meet us outside the Archives/Navy Memorial Metro station entrance (on the Green/Yellow line) at 7th and Pennsylvania Ave. at 8:30 am. Just look for the Mission banner!

Fannie Mae Help the Homeless Walkathon
Campaign for Compassion

Love Your Neighbor - Fall 2011

Autumn starts the hardest season for homeless and hungry people, so this is when the season of greatest need begins. You show God that you Love Your Neighbor by supporting our Washington, DC, community, and here's how you can do that:

Volunteer Your Time or Skills

Can you share your accounting, photography, Hgrant-writing or teaching skills? Maybe you have a construction or renovation background that could help us with our new building. If you have the gift of organization, you can lead a nonperishable food drive to help our hungry neighbors at Thanksgiving. Bring your collected food to the Mission on November 23, and join us at 5:00 pm for a thank-you reception. Contact Seamus Merrigan at 202-MISSION x249 or for details. Learn more...

A Gift of Eternal Significance

The Mission always has food, utility and program bills to pay. Please consider supporting our efforts financially. Consider joining our Meals-a-Month program. You can also participate in our Thanksgiving Food Drive or Hats, Gloves and Scarves Drive.

When it comes to buying Christmas gifts, are you sometimes stumped for meaningful ideas? Perhaps your loved ones would cherish knowing that your love for them is expressed in helping others. Shop for them on Central Union Mission's Online Christmas Catalog. Available in early November, you can donate blafood distributionnkets, hot meals and other necessities in your loved ones' names, and they will receive a personalized card. Contact Deborah Chambers at 202-MISSION x227 with any questions.

Thanksgiving Volunteers

Take a WalkTake a Walk

Join Mission staff, friends, STP students and Overnight Guests as we walk in the Fannie Mae Help the Homeless Walkathon on Saturday, November 19, at 9:00 am on the National Mall. Your participation makes a powerful statement about the needs of homeless people. Click here for details on how to join or call Seamus Merrigan at 202-MISSION x249.

volunteerAll Together Now

Are you part of a company, club, church group or youth group? Your group can volunteer at the Mission together. Or you can use your networking skills to inform others about the Mission's work. You can sponsor a Compassion Sunday at your church or plan an Urban Outreach event at the Mission to get the message out. Call Deborah Chambers at 202-MISSION x227 for information on those events.

One-On-One Time

Do you have the gift of teaching or mentoring? You can tutor a Spiritual Transformation student or Overnight Guest as he prepares to take the GED or learns computer skills. Please call Shirley Johnson at 202-MISSION ext. 225 for more details.

Operation Christmas MiracleHelp Some Needy Children

Kids love Christmas presents, but plenty of neighborhood children will have none without your help. When you sponsor a child through the Mission's Operation Christmas Miracle, he or she has the joy of opening Christmas gifts given in love. Go to or contact Tracy Duncan at 202-MISSION ext. 260 or

Got Stuff?

McLean Bible Church and CarletonA lot of Central Union Mission friends like to think outside the box. In addition to donating time and money, these folks have unusual things to share with us.

This summer we enjoyed receiving 82 TVs and 20 VCRs from STE-DEL Services in Alexandria, VA. When this furniture and housewares rental company updated its inventory, owner Steven R. Delonga, and company president Gregory S. Currier decided to share with us. Thanks also to Charm Makell for organizing the donation.

We also received generous gifts from the law firm Mintz, Levin, Cohen, Ferris, Glovsky & Popeo, P.C.: 3 refrigerators, an icemaker, 2 TV/VCRs, 4 lunch tables with 12 matching chairs and movie projector screens.

When Frontline, the young adult ministry of McLean Bible Church (Vienna, VA), learned that our Overnight Guests needed new underclothes, they rose to the challenge. This group collected 5,000 pairs of socks and briefs in 100 garbage bags and dropped them off at the Mission in mid-February. To keep our Guests toasty warm, Luisa Goodspeed donated over two-dozen of her hand-knitted hat and scarf sets.

We are able to pass on all types and sizes of clothing through our Clothing Orchard, and all your leftover furniture, appliances and household goods find new homes with our Hispanic Family Ministry families. Even your old, running car is critical. We don't sell it for scrap: one of our mechanics fixes it up, and it becomes a lifeline for a single mother or a newly employed STP graduate, or it chauffeurs homeless people to doctor appointments.

Do you have anything used but useful cluttering up your basement or garage? Please contact TaJuanna Patterson at 202-MISSION ext. 235 for more information or to schedule a pick-up.

Who Needs Elves?

Operation Christmas MiracleWhat if your dad lost his job or your single mom can't make ends meet? You're not expecting a visit from Santa. But what if your parents brought you to Central Union Mission for Operation Christmas Miracle? You would go home with a bag of gifts and the assurance that Jesus loves YOU.

Operation Christmas Miracle is a unique way to touch a young soul for Christ. You or your group (Sunday school class, Boy or Girl Scouts, etc.) can sponsor a child, and you will receive a recommended gift list, photos from the event and later, a thank-you note. We'll be distributing nearly 3000 bags at our Operation Christmas Miracle programs and parties for Mission and Hispanic Family Ministry children as well as for homeless children at other shelters.

For more information, please go to or contact Tracy Duncan at 202-MISSION ext. 260, or

Thanksgiving MealsA Hot Meal and So Much More

What's on your Thanksgiving menu? Turkey, cranberries, all the favorites? That's what the Mission has planned for the homeless and needy in Washington, DC, too! And our event, like yours, will rejoice in God's blessings and faithfulness to us. You are welcome to join us.

But even if you can't come to our table, you can be with us in sharing God's love. The Mission's Thanksgiving dinner costs only $1.98. With your gift, many hungry people can experience fellowship, prayer and a delicious hot dinner. You can even sign a place card for the dinner table.

This is a cold, lonely time of year that drives lost men, women and even families to your Mission. Your generous gift will be transformed to meet them with God's love and acceptance. Please help us fill our tables with turkey for desperate people in our nation's capital. To donate for meals, click here...

Central Union Mission | 1350 R Street NW | Washington, DC 20009 | 202.745.7118 |

Love Your Neighbor - Fall 2011

Mission Statement:
To glorify God through proclaiming and teaching the gospel, leading people to Christ, developing disciples,
and serving the needs of hurting people throughout the Washington Metropolitan Area.

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Combined Federal Campaign #85786 Proud member of the United Way #9617

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